The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Autos fuelled on indulgence

K. JAYARAMAN, additional superintendent of police (Barrackpore), North 24-Parganas, met readers of The Telegraph in his office at Chiriamore. Participants included Amit Paik, Atin Bhattacharya, Sukumar Pal, Sitaram Agarwal, Soma Chowdhury, Papri Mukherjee, Sibani Biswas, and Anik Chakraborty

Papri Mukherjee: Autorickshaw-pullers from Nazrul Mancha to Kamarhati Ghat often refuse to travel without taking on six passengers. Any protest invites abuse from them.

The Motor Vehicles Act does not allow any auto driver to carry more than four passengers. I shall ask the traffic inspector to book any auto carrying passengers beyond the specified number. I shall also organise traffic patrols at various intervals and spots so that errant auto-drivers could be caught redhanded.

Sibani Biswas: I live on Sodepur Station Road. Here, auto-rickshaws on the route between Nilgunj to Sodepur Ghat create a real nuisance. They carry passengers beyond capacity and race with buses, endangering the limbs and lives of the passengers.

Some auto-rickshaw drivers are a nuisance, but they cannot be blamed all the time. Passengers, too, are responsible in some cases. They insist that the drivers ferry passengers beyond the vehicle’s capacity. So, this indulgence makes them do what they like, without caring for the safety and security of the passengers. However, I will see that such things are stopped as soon as possible.

Atin Bhattacharya: I am a retired government employee and I live in Baranagar. I gave a realtor an advance of Rs 25,000 as instalment for an apartment, which he failed to deliver. He turned a deaf ear to my pleas that he return the money. Fed up, I lodged a complaint with Belghoria police station. But the officer entrusted with the case is rarely available. Several trips to the police station have failed to yield a meeting with the officer.

There could have been various reasons for your repeated visits to the police station. An officer investigating a particular case may be out of station or may be otherwise busy or may have fallen ill. Whatever the reason, your case is getting delayed and the officer in charge of the police station concerned should see to it that no member of the public is harassed. I will see that your case is tackled without further delay.

Sitaram Agarwal: What steps are you taking to develop policing in the district'

Senior officers, including the superintendent of police himself, regularly monitor the incidents in the district. A strong vigil is kept to check laxity in the force. Every fortnight, we meet and discuss the progress of various cases. We exchange information among police stations. We have computers and an e-mail system to keep the force up-to-date on the cases.

Sitaram Agarwal: What progress has been made in the eviction drive'

The process of keeping footpaths and roads clear is continuous. We have achieved success with the Nimta flyover. Things become easier if accompanied by political will and cooperation from the people.

Sitaram Agarwal: Any plans to improve the police barracks'

The Belghoria barrack will be revamped soon. Actually, we need to develop several barracks, but can’t for want of funds.

Sukumar Pal: We hold a community puja on a spot in Brahmatala which some promoters are trying to grab. The local Bijpur police station knows about the case but is maintaining a peculiar silence.

If somebody has a valid document, he can build a highrise. Otherwise, if there is any violation, one can lodge a complaint with the local police station, the inspector in charge, additional superintendent of police or even the superintendent of police. Then, we can look into it for proper redress.

Anik Chakraborty: Goons stop cars and extort money, specially late in the night, on the road between Barrackpore station and Fishery Ghat.

No one has ever reported the crime. In case of any problem, I request members of the public to come to us. Our mobile vans can be contacted, too.

Amit Paik: Below Jubilee Bridge,drug-peddlers rule. And they can be quite belligerent in the face of protest.

The spot falls under the jurisdiction of the Government Railway Police. I shall take up the matter with them.

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